As part of my travels I currently find myself in Salzburg, where the streets are filled with stores, but as far as I can tell no larger malls.

Are there any department stores similar to Macy's (USA), Illum (Denmark) and Debenhams (London) in Salzburg?


Sometimes while travelling, tourists need to 'stock up' on a variety of items. Other times one family member may be attending a business meeting and the other family members need to kill a few hours until the family is reunited again. If a place is new and there are language barriers, it is natural for people in some cultures to contemplate what they would do in their own country: go to the mall!

For some reason, shopping malls in the American sense of the word never really caught on in Austria. You can find the Austrian rendition of a shopping mall at the Europark Shopping Center near the ring road in Salzburg, but to find another one of the same calibre, you would need to go to Linz or Passau.

At the northern edge of Salzburg's business district, you can find something much more common in Central Europe, the Messezentrum Salzburg (literally 'trade fair central'). While not a shopping center in its own right there are lots of upmarket shops and restaurants in the vicinity.

Macy's is an American thing and keeps its business presence in Europe limited to internet catalogs. Illum is basically identified with Copenhagen and similarly reaches out via the net. Debenhams is doing great on Oxford Street but operates on the same model as the others. I recall Marks and Spencer trying something there on the 'bricks and mortar' model, but it closed down a while ago. Perhaps when the global recession retreats far enough these shops will again try to penetrate Central Europe with a proper business presence, but that's conjecture and well into the future anyway.

  • What is a shopping malls in the American sense of the word? Strip mall? – gerrit Jul 28 '15 at 11:06
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    @gerrit A very large building with dozens or even hundreds of unrelated shops, lots of parking, and easy access to major roads or highways. Similar to a shopping centre or arcade, but usually entirely indoors. – Michael Hampton Jul 28 '15 at 23:26
  • @MichaelHampton Ah, those are common in northern Europe, I always assumed that was due to climate. Wikipedia says that in the USA they exist away from city centres as well, but is there something American about indoor shopping centres in city centres? – gerrit Jul 29 '15 at 8:38
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    @gerrit Most American shopping malls I've seen are suburban. It's not common to see them in city centres, and when they are present they will generally be smaller, due to the reduced space and parking availability. – Michael Hampton Jul 29 '15 at 15:38
  • @MichaelHampton I thought the whole point to have it all in one building was to be compact with space, which appears to me as an un-American characteristic. What I associate very much with North America (both USA and Canada) is the sprawling strip mall, but classic department stores have a much older history. So I don't quite get what is American about those; apart from the fact that in America they tend to be in suburbs and in Europe they tend to be in city centres, but is that the difference the OP was after? Why would a tourist seek out the suburbs? – gerrit Jul 29 '15 at 16:25

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